Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Coffee morning leaves a bitter taste

WE ALL know that old people can be bitter and vindictive - anyone who's experienced the hand-to-hand fighting in the queue at the Post Office on pension day will know what they're capable of - but to suggest that they might willingly maim toddlers is a bit beyond the pale.

Yet pensioners have been banned from holding a coffee morning at a public library in Peterborough amid just such fears.

The seven members of the over-50s coffee morning club have met at the library without incident for the last four years, but now 'officials' claim that toddlers who use the building at the same time could be injured by hot coffee.

Well, yes, of course they could, but they could also be hit by a block of ice dropped from a passing aeroplane, struck by lighting on the way there, or battered to death by their feckless parents while social services look on.

Death to Jackson fans

THE man behind the world's biggest Michael Jackson fan club claims that followers of the star have committed suicide because of his death. Gary Taylor, owner of MJJcommunity.com, said he understood the tragedies had taken place mostly outside the UK, but he believed one might have been British.

"I know there has been an increase. I believe the figure may now be 12. I believe there may have been one Briton who has taken their life," he said.

Let's hope that there's not a branch of the fan club in Bridgend, or it'll be a bloodbath.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Roll up for the pikeys' picnic

POLICE in Warwickshire, where an illegal gypsy camp sprang up on a Bank Holiday weekend a year ago, decided that they needed to improve relations with 'the travelling community', so they hosted a bash for 400 them at the force headquarters yesterday.

There were traditional Roma bands, dancing, bouncy castles, story-telling and food and drink provided for free. A PC PC said: "The party is new and engaging". Yes, I bet the tax-paying, crime-plagued families living next door to the illegal site are delighted about this pikeys' picnic.

But it's not just Warwickshire where cops would rather wine and dine disruptive elements than police them. The nutter in charge of North Wales police decided that he needed to 'engage' the area's Polish community and hear from them first hand about how they were 'victims of anti-social behaviour', so set up a £1,000 bash, refreshments laid on, for around 100 people.

One small problem - no-one turned up. Amazingly, this was seen as a positive, with Community Officer PC Keith Sinclair claiming: "It's reassuring to know that they have no real concerns."

It would be more reassuring if our police had the faintest idea about what concerns the poor bloody taxpayer.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Feeding the fat cats

MORE MPs with their snouts in the trough, literally this time. Under the Freedom of Information Act, we now have access to the menus in some of the restaurants and bars in the Houses of Parliament showing that MPs are enjoying meals for less than £2 - and all subsidised by the taxpayer.

At the Portcullis Cafeteria, roasted red pepper and tomato soup was just 60p, while pasta with mushroom garlic cream was £1.90. At the Terrace Cafeteria, lasagne cost £1.90 while a rump steak dinner was £3.80. Swan and lark terrine was a mere 30p while roast peacock with all the trimmings cost less than a pound. Thirsty MPs - are there are plenty of those - could get a Bell's whisky or a Bombay Sapphire gin for £1.55.

In fact, in the year 2007-08, the Commons Refreshment department spent £12.6miilion against an income of £7.2million - a subsidy on the part of the poor bloody taxpayer of £4.5million.

Now I must confess at this point that I have myself eaten in the Commons and the Lords' dining rooms on several occasions in the past. I've even had more than a few pints in the Terrace Bar, where visitors aren't allowed to order drinks (although the cheapshate MP I was with asked me to pass him some money so he could get the beers in). But I never suspected that I was feasting off the taxes of a poor pensioner. And I bet the bastards claimed for the meals and drinks on expenses as well.

I'm not sure that many of us in the private sector still enjoy the luxury of a subsidised canteen, so why should our MPs and Peers who, as we all now know, are on a pretty good whack in the first place? Perhaps the new Speaker might want to turn his attention to this disgusting extravagance as a matter of urgency. Although seeing as he's such an appalling little shit that even his own side refused to back him, I think we might be in for a bit of a wait.

I'VE long argued that when the midle classes rise up against the iron fist of the Nanny State, it won't be ID cards or uncontrolled immigration that channels their rage, but the issue of dustbin collections. Now English Heritage and the Daily Mail seem to have cottoned onto this fact and have launched a 'Not In My Front Yard' campaign, railing against the plethora of plastic bins and boxes now littering our streets.

Now it's not much of a problem at Beelzebub Mansions. We just converted a spare stable into mini recycling centre and my man Whittaker drags the containers half a mile down the drive to the road every Sunday evening. But it's the Little People I feel sorry for - those who live in terraces or flats and have a choice of either wheeling their bins through their two-ups, two-downs or permanantly keeping them in the front garden.

Given that there's usually an old bath, a decrepit bike and several empty plastic cider bottles already littering their leisure space, the arrival of three, man-size, differently coloured plastic wheelie bins seems an impostition too far, even for the Poveratti.

I NEVER knew that school was such a dangerous place - although we did have our moments when playing Split the Kipper with flick knives we'd smuggled back from a school trip to France. (Along with the porno playing cards, the football match flares and the cans of CS gas.)

A survey of 600 teachers has revealed the true extent of the horrors the Health and Safety nutters think that our children face in the playground. Footballs are routinely banned from the premises, as are egg boxes and toilet roll tubes (risk of infection). Sweets are also banned (risk of choking) as is shaving foam (quite bizarrely because of a perceived risk of drowning).

A five-page briefing note must be read before Pritt Stick is deployed in the classroom and goggles must be worn if children are going to use that well-known poisonous explosive, Blu Tack. Is it any wonder then that we're producing generations of compo-claiming wimps?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Every little helps democracy

ONCE UPON a time, many years ago, I seriously considered standing for election against an arrogant, lazy and corrupt local councillor – a bloke who, amongst other things, refused to vote against the party line when an illegal gypsy camp opened up on the primary school playing field.

What put me off in the end was the sheer logistics involved. As an Independent candidate, bereft of the support of a party machine, I’d have had to do everything myself. I’d have had to pay for the leaflets and posters myself, do all the dreadful door-stepping myself, write my own supportive letters in false names to the local press and spread my own, libelous, internet smears against rivals. It was just too much to take on.

In the event, the sitting candidate was returned because no-one in that part of town could bring themselves to vote for the Tories while the Liberal candidate was caught in a compromising position with another gentleman on the local park four days before the vote.

Now come the next election, whether that be in October or June, the disgraceful trough-snouting of the current incumbents is certain to inspire a wave of white-suited, shining knights in honest armour, eager to turn back the tide of sleaze that has engulfed the present system. But they will all face the same problems I did, only more so in a General Election scenario.

But wait, I have an answer – the Tesco Party. Yes, the Tesco Party.

Think about it. If the retail giant was to offer every potential Independent candidate the services of its nationwide network, suddenly taking on the big boys would be a distinct possibility. You’d have a least one established base in every constituency, a place to hold meetings and Saturday morning surgeries. You’d have access to advertising expertise, top class designers and the economies of scale offered by volume printing.

You’d have Tesco’s massive email database to work with and you’d know the demographics of every potential voter: “Do you have a Clubcard? Ah, yes, Mr Jones. You like Findus Crispy Pancakes, are partial to a can or two of Wife-Beater and you want to send the darkies back where they came from.”

It’s so blindingly obvious – and such a massive contribution to the democratic process – that I’m amazed no-one’s thought of it before. I may write to Sir Terry Leahy in the morning. After all, every little helps. Or is that Asda?

I WAS highly amused that UKIP has demanded a re-run of the European elections because of the way the ballot paper was folded. Apparently, because it is one of the last parties in alphabetical order, its name fell below the crease of the folded ballot paper.

Nigel Farage, the phony who claims to be actively campaigning against our membership of the EU while pocketing around £2million in salary and expenses, said the way the paper was folded made it look as if UKIP was not on the ballot paper at all.

I’d make two points. Wouldn’t the idiot be better waiting for the result before demanding a re-run of an election in which his party allegedly stands a good chance of beating Labour into fourth place? And secondly, are we really sure that people who can’t manage to unfold a piece of paper should have the vote in the first place?